As the clock strikes midnight, another year slips away, and is immediately relegated to last year. One can’t help but reflect on its passing and pondering the newness of the year ahead, a year that, like every other new year, will be unlike any other in history. For, surely, there will only be one 2020.
What will you do with yours?
Lofty and noble goals aside (e.g. perhaps there’s a relationship to strengthen/mend, a character trait to get a handle on, or a cause to get involved in) what musical goals do you have for yourself in 2020?
Is this the year you fulfill a life-long dream to learn piano?
January is a great time to pursue piano because the busyness of holiday shopping, visiting, entertaining, and preparation comes to a complete halt, not only freeing up time and allowing rest, but also leaving a vacuum and yearning in its wake as one stares down the rest of the looming winter. It’s the perfect time for creating art. Beauty. Music.
How about splashing the canvass of your life with beautiful sounds you create?
Whether just starting out, well on your way, or somewhere in-between, here are 10 Musical Resolutions to celebrate and enrich your musical journey in 2020:
1. Set Musical Goals
Have you been coasting along in your musical training? Are you satisfied with your rate of progress? This is a great time to assess and revitalize, or begin, your musical journey. Ask your teacher to help you set realistic goals and devise a plan to achieve them.
2. Stretch Yourself
Do you gravitate towards the easier pieces in your repertoire books or styles that you find easier? How about tackling a more difficult piece or a style out of your comfort zone?
3. Discover The Thrill Of Performing In A Recital
If you’ve yet to participate in a recital, discover the sense of accomplishment and community gained by performing for an audience of musical peers and friends!
4. Take A Practical Music Exam
There’s almost no better way to motivate oneself to hone, sharpen and increase one’s skills! From the moment you register for an exam, the deadline becomes your musical coach, gently pushing you to meet particular standards for your level. The resulting musical gains are not only rewarding but will also ease your foray into the next level.
5. Learn A Piece You’ve Always Wanted To Play
Perhaps it’s Pachelbel’s Canon, Für Elise or a popular song of today. Many famous pieces have modified versions for various levels. Even many popular songs of today have easy, intermediate and advanced versions. Ask your teacher to help you find a suitable version for your skill level.
6. Broaden Your Musical Horizons
Soak up a live symphony, opera, chamber orchestra, choral concert or other classical performance. As a music student, you will likely come away with a new appreciation of, if not fascination with, these genres, and a deeper interest in learning music!
7. Identify A Technical Skill You Avoid And Master It
For me, it was swing 8ths! For years I avoided all repertoire containing them. When I finally forced myself to learn them, it was much easier than I imagined and became one of my favourite rhythms to play!
8. Learn Some Music Theory
Understanding the building blocks of music will not only assist you in learning repertoire, but will also open up a whole new dimension of music. Its complexity is fascinating and awe-inspiring! Each level of Royal Conservatory practical curriculum also has corresponding theory curriculum, so you can take it step by step!
9. Find A Practice Buddy
Sharing your struggles and joys with a piano-playing friend can be a great encouragement & motivator! You can keep each other accountable to practice, play for each other and give constructive feedback. Even playing over the phone is a great way to get used to performing!
10. Clap Your Repertoire
Get into the habit of clapping repertoire before you learn to play it. Taking the time to clap it will save you loads of time learning to play it as the rhythm is drilled into your hands first, creating a mold for the notes to follow!
Hopefully, at least one of these resolutions strikes a chord with you! The very best to you in 2020, musically, and in every other way!
Until next time …